So here's an update on our quad relationship.
This past Friday we all got together for the weekend again. It was an exciting day because for the first time we were all going to talk about how we wanted to handle dealing with relationship / emotional issues as they came up.
To me, there were a few powerful distinctions that had to be made.
First - For 6 months we have been in what was quickly looking like a struggling swinger relationship. Getting together, having fun...wanting all of the fun but not willing to upset the fun to talk about serious emotions...only to have them "blow up" when we separated and turn into a week of "conversations" to get back to that "good place" we thought we needed to be in all the time.
Little did we know what started as a swinger relationship had grown into a full-blown, budding poly relationship with all the characteristics of a quad relationship. Things that needed to be openly discussed, managed and accepted.
So the relationship itself was way out of integrity...acting one way and treating it like another way. No wonder we were struggling whenever issues came up - we were all afraid to deal with them lest we "bring the party down". In the swinger world, if you run into issues you simply find another couple. That wasn't an option so we had to accept the TRUTH. We are all now in a poly relationship...and we need guidelines to manage it...together!
Second - When things come up for one of us - we needed to be able to step up and say "hey, something is bugging me that I don't want to turn into a whole big deal by NOT talking about...I would like to share it now and get it behind us." What was happening was if someone was mad they didn't want to ruin the party...so they held it in. But holding it in took it's toll and came out through smart remarks or other ways which was...awkward at times. Not to mention the little "doggie bag of issues" we'd take home to our marriages which really put a crimp in reconnecting with our spouses after our weekends with our other partners. So we made agreements to 1) responsibly speak up when something is bugging us and 2) accept and support each others emotions if/when someone does bring something up.
I admit I was nervous at how it would go down as NONE of us ever saw the poly aspect coming and it was very scary when we were not dealing with it as such. So we had a great talk. The four of us accepted the nature of our relationship - that of a "four way marriage" of sorts and it's poly nature. We made agreements to speak our minds, be ourselves and accept one another.
The weekend that followed was amazing. All sorts of comfort and communication opened up. It's almost like we all gave each other some grand permission that had been missing all along and were free to explore within the boundaries we had redefined. A sense of security set in to replace the anxiety. My girlfriend and I had a lot of deep, serious conversations through the weekend and sexually connections were deepened where I thought it was impossible for them to get any deeper.
We did have one issue come up over the weekend where one of us needed to speak their mind about something that was bugging them. That person did. The rest listened. The world is still spinning. Amazing!
So...it's official. We're poly now!
J - my wife & partner since 2000
D - R's wife & my girlfriend
R - D's husband & J's boyfriend